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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legacies of the past: the Influence of former freedom fighters and their rhetoric in Southern Africa
Authors:Welz, MartinISNI
Kromrey, Daniela
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies (ISSN 1470-1014)
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subjects:national liberation movements
political systems
political conditions
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02589346.2015.1041673
Abstract:The liberation struggle impacts on the current political landscape of Southern Africa. In this regard, some scholars speak of enduring 'post-liberation states', whereas others foresee the slow but inevitable decline of the active role of freedom fighters in politics. The authors enrich the debate over the legacies of the liberation struggle by providing empirical evidence in a three-step analysis. Firstly, they provide figures on the composition of cabinets since independence, demonstrating not only that more than half of today's cabinet members are former freedom fighters, but also that their numbers are continuously decreasing. Secondly, they compare recent election manifestos of liberation-movements-turned parties to older documents of the same movements, showing that in Namibia and South Africa, freedom fighter rhetoric is more subtle than overt, which differs from the case in Zimbabwe. In a third step, they contrast these findings with evidence from practical politics. Through this multilayered comparative analysis, the authors also reveal the opportunistic use of the liberation struggle as a political tool across all three country case studies. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]